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Surviving in a tank during WWII

Tank WWII survival

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commando333 #1 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 04:56

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As the title suggests, I am wondering what the survival rate for tank crew was during WWII. I have looked all over the place for some numbers but for some countries they are hard to find (especially if it isn't the U.S.). So if any of you know figures relating to this please reply. Also I am wondering about numbers per country not as a whole so like German panzer crew survival rate for instance.

TheBlueAngels #2 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 05:01

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Wow thanks for all the Negs. 

Edited by TheBlueAngels, Jul 05 2015 - 04:43.


stalkervision #3 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 05:01

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Germans and the Russians depending on the time period of the war. Russians did BAD in the beginning and their crews didn't last for long and the german's the very opposite. Later in the war this was reversed. The same goes for their air forces.

Edited by stalkervision, Jul 03 2015 - 05:02.


Priory_of_Sion #4 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 05:08

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~3% of all tankers deployed by the US in WWII were killed. ~18% for the US Infantry. 

 

An American tanker had an ~80% survival chance if you're tank was KO'd. Nearly half of all US tanker deaths happened outside of their tanks.

 

 



Strike_Witch_Tomoko #5 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 05:11

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View Postcommando333, on Jul 02 2015 - 20:56, said:

As the title suggests, I am wondering what the survival rate for tank crew was during WWII. I have looked all over the place for some numbers but for some countries they are hard to find (especially if it isn't the U.S.). So if any of you know figures relating to this please reply. Also I am wondering about numbers per country not as a whole so like German panzer crew survival rate for instance.

 

if u mean total

its hard to say cause there were SO MANY tanks. so the survival rate was high due to numbers

 

if u mean survival rate of tanks destroyed,

American M4 was probably the best to be in, as the escape hatch is right over your head and is big

german tanks were 2nd best, big escape hatches but not exactly over your head, but the tanks were big and so room to move (same for m4)

and last. T-34.  cramped(due to angled sides), tiny escape hatches, have to squeeze through,  and its so cramped the shell kills alot 

 

russians weren't worried about losing people, they jsut wanted simple, effective tanks. 

americans weren't worried about losing people (to an extent) but kept it big for tanker comfort and confidence as they needed men to WANT to fight.   russians didnt need to be comfortable, they were defending their own land.

 

germans...not sure.



EnsignExpendable #6 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 05:15

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Yeah, sure, the Soviets cared so little about losing people that safety and ergonomics were a part of the People's Commissariat of Defense's official testing procedure. The Chieftain mentioned survival rates for Soviet, British, and American tankers in a recent video, Soviet and British were more or less equal IIRC, American ones were less because they used hard helmets unlike the British berets or Soviet padded ones.

Priory_of_Sion #7 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 05:34

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Jul 02 2015 - 23:15, said:

Yeah, sure, the Soviets cared so little about losing people that safety and ergonomics were a part of the People's Commissariat of Defense's official testing procedure. The Chieftain mentioned survival rates for Soviet, British, and American tankers in a recent video, Soviet and British were more or less equal IIRC, American ones were less because they used hard helmets unlike the British berets or Soviet padded ones.

British suffered higher losses because they didn't have helmets. Have Soviets helmets changed much in terms of protection since WWII? My surplus helmet is really tough, better than a football helmet(like US tankers) for sure, plus ballistic protection. That would save some lives compared to a beret. 


Edited by Priory_of_Sion, Jul 03 2015 - 05:34.


Hammaneggs #8 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 06:18

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I would think that early in the war that the Russians would not have too low of a survival rate for tank crews. Sure, the BTs were not exactly fortresses, but the KV series was practically unkillable in the first encounters due to the insane armor that it had compared to the German tank guns of the time, I hear that even AT guns had some trouble early on. I would also think that the T-34 spam of economy over tech and comfort would kill many crew members late in the war. Keep in mind, I do not know any numbers, and that what I say is very much hypothetical,

WulfeHound #9 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 06:30

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View PostTheBlueAngels, on Jul 02 2015 - 23:01, said:

In a Sherman...Not very high. That was a death trap against German Guns.

 

Which is why the US Army found out that in the First Army, on average 0.28 crewmembers were killed per tank? (456 tanks lost between 6 June 1944 and 30 November 1944, with 129 crewmembers killed in that timeframe) Such a deathtrap, the Sherman is. 

LeuCeaMia #10 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 07:35

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View PostStrike_Witch_Tomoko, on Jul 03 2015 - 12:11, said:

german tanks were 2nd best, big escape hatches but not exactly over your head, but the tanks were big and so room to move (same for m4)

and last. T-34.  cramped(due to angled sides), tiny escape hatches, have to squeeze through,  and its so cramped the shell kills alot

 

Having sponsons filled to brim with ammunition surely increases survivability...

 

The Panther's side sponsons (Ausf D or A) are set at the exact same angle as the T-34's...

 

"German tanks" also includes things like the Panzer III and IV, which were no bigger and in the Panzer IV case pretty cramped. Hell if AFVs are included, the Hetzer was in a class of its own. I'd like to see the Chieftain attempt to escape out of the Stug III Ausf G's driver's position as I believe it's through the maintenance hatches on the glacis, otherwise its by queuing for the two proper hatches.



Razavn #11 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 08:07

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View PostTheBlueAngels, on Jul 03 2015 - 04:01, said:

In a Sherman...Not very high. That was a death trap against German Guns.

 

I see someone has been reading Belton Cooper (or watching the History Channel which is, sadly, also terrible)...

 

Hint, don't. I haven't read it but based off all the evidence that the people of HAV and individuals such the Chieftain have posted, that book should never EVER be used for any historical discussion on armor. Cooper's book is a memoir and reading his "opinions" (of which many had no basis in fact) is fine. Assuming what he says is true without consulting the evidence however, is folly. 


Edited by Razavn, Jul 03 2015 - 08:07.


danbuter #12 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 12:10

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Sherman was actually very survivable. Russian and Brit tanks were the worst. They were very cramped and it took a while to get in or out.

Hresvelgr #13 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 21:10

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I still have a hard time imagining why the Brits and Germans didn't seem to think helmets were necessary for tank crews when AFAIK literally every other nation issued their tankers with actual head-protection.

commando333 #14 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 21:58

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Thank you for all the replies! In response to the "sherman death trap", watch this video https://youtu.be/bNjp_4jY8pY?t=33m38s it says that they were actually quite survivable. I also meant all AFVs not just tanks just to clear that up

Edited by commando333, Jul 03 2015 - 22:00.


EnsignExpendable #15 Posted Jul 03 2015 - 23:17

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View PostHammaneggs, on Jul 03 2015 - 00:18, said:

I would think that early in the war that the Russians would not have too low of a survival rate for tank crews. Sure, the BTs were not exactly fortresses, but the KV series was practically unkillable in the first encounters due to the insane armor that it had compared to the German tank guns of the time, I hear that even AT guns had some trouble early on. I would also think that the T-34 spam of economy over tech and comfort would kill many crew members late in the war. Keep in mind, I do not know any numbers, and that what I say is very much hypothetical,

 

Early was survival rate was low because their missions were something like "Hold the crossroads and you cover the retreat of six infantry divisions, toodles! By the way we don't have any AP shells for you today". It had little to do with performance of German AT guns. 

 

Also the idea that quantity of tank is somehow the opposite of saving your soldiers is ridiculous. Where do you think tankers were safest, in a King Tiger maybe? Okay, your super precious rare King Tiger platoon can protect one infantry unit, a T-34 company produced at the same cost tears through all other infantry and destroys your fuel supply, now your platoon can protect no one at all and all your infantry dies. But a few guys were safe from AT guns, that's all that matters in a war, right?



commando333 #16 Posted Jul 04 2015 - 01:18

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View PostEnsignExpendable, on Jul 03 2015 - 22:17, said:

 

Early was survival rate was low because their missions were something like "Hold the crossroads and you cover the retreat of six infantry divisions, toodles! By the way we don't have any AP shells for you today". It had little to do with performance of German AT guns. 

 

Also the idea that quantity of tank is somehow the opposite of saving your soldiers is ridiculous. Where do you think tankers were safest, in a King Tiger maybe? Okay, your super precious rare King Tiger platoon can protect one infantry unit, a T-34 company produced at the same cost tears through all other infantry and destroys your fuel supply, now your platoon can protect no one at all and all your infantry dies. But a few guys were safe from AT guns, that's all that matters in a war, right?

 

What do you mean in the second paragraph? just that it is useless to produce a tank that is as big as a Tiger II, whereas you could just get other tanks to do the exact same thing at the same cost? or what?

ChiefKim #17 Posted Jul 04 2015 - 01:18

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I don't think it was one of the most dangerous jobs as in percentage killed/wounded. Heavy bomber crews and Submariners were 1st equal when it came to that. 

Krieger_07b #18 Posted Jul 04 2015 - 01:23

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View Postcommando333, on Jul 03 2015 - 18:18, said:

 

What do you mean in the second paragraph? just that it is useless to produce a tank that is as big as a Tiger II, whereas you could just get other tanks to do the exact same thing at the same cost? or what?

 

Many tanks < one tank

Priory_of_Sion #19 Posted Jul 04 2015 - 01:34

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View PostChiefKim, on Jul 03 2015 - 19:18, said:

I don't think it was one of the most dangerous jobs as in percentage killed/wounded. Heavy bomber crews and Submariners were 1st equal when it came to that. 

Being a tanker is 6x safer than being a foot soldier for the US Army.



Dominatus #20 Posted Jul 04 2015 - 02:41

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View PostChiefKim, on Jul 03 2015 - 19:18, said:

I don't think it was one of the most dangerous jobs as in percentage killed/wounded. Heavy bomber crews and Submariners were 1st equal when it came to that. 

I recall some of the most dangerous jobs were things like bomber gunner, submariner, merchant marine, sapper, tank-rider.






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